Optimizing desalinated sea water blending with other sources to meet magnesium requirements for potable and irrigation waters Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Sea water desalination provides fresh water that typically lacks minerals essential to human health and to agricultural productivity. Thus the rising proportion of desalinated sea water consumed by both the domestic and agricultural sectors constitutes a public health risk. Research on low-magnesium water irrigation showed that crops developed magnesium deficiency symptoms that could lead to plant death, and tomato yields were reduced by 10–15%. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on a relationship between sudden cardiac death rates and magnesium intake deficits. An optimization model, developed and tested to provide recommendations for Water Distribution System (WDS) quality control in terms of meeting optimal water quality requirements, was run in computational experiments based on an actual regional WDS. The expected magnesium deficit due to the operation of a large Sea Water Desalination Plant (SWDP) was simulated, and an optimal operation policy, in which remineralization at the SWDP was combined with blending desalinated and natural water to achieve the required quality, was generated. The effects of remineralization costs and WDS physical layout on the optimal policy were examined by sensitivity analysis. As part of the sensitivity blending natural and desalinated water near the treatment plants will be feasible up to 16.2 US cents/m 3 , considering all expenses. Additional chemical injection was used to meet quality criteria when blending was not feasible.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013